Stressing Over Health

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Yesterday, I ate about 3493 calories.  That is ridiculous.  This is the exact reason why I decided to start tracking my food again even though I hate to do it.  I knew there were too many “bad” days happening and yesterday was one of them as you can see.  I knew it would be bad but I had no idea it would be that bad

Tracking calories for me can be a slippery slope though because the question then arises

“How much should I eat?”

And there is so many differing opinions in the health and fitness world about how many calories to consume:

    • Calories In = Calories Out, no matter what.
    • It’s not how much you eat, but what you eat (clean eating, The Paleo Diet, etc.).
    • It is how often you eat that matters (small meals vs. large meals).
    • You aren’t enough enough calories; you’ve ruined your metabolism.
    • It’s your macronutrients that are the problem! (Carbs vs. Fat vs. Protein)

It can be extremely overwhelming to decide what to do when it comes to losing weight.  I know for me that I really shouldn’t eat wheat and other grain products, so I look at the Paleo Diet which advocates eating intuitively and not counting calories.  This stresses me out a little because when I lose the weight initially, I used the calories in-calories out method!  Why does eating have to be so complicated?

Today, I also read an article that a friend shared about how running can ruin your thyroid and cause you to hold onto extra body fat (Women: Running Into Trouble). But running makes me happy, helps me de-stress, and I don’t want to give it up!  So am I ruining my chances for body improvement by distance running?

TiredRunnerWhy are things so complicated?

But then I have to step back and remember who I am – the person who doesn’t follow trends and does what is right for herself at the right time.  So instead of stressing and worrying over doing things the right way, I’m going to do things my way.

    • I will be reasonable in my food choices, continuing an eating style of mostly-Paleo.
    • I will continue to track my food but not worry about how many calories it contains.
    • I will continue to run a few days a week, because it makes me happy and stress-free.
    • I will continue to lift weights because I enjoy being strong.
    • I will be content being healthy, even if that means it takes a little longer to lose this excess body fat.

Getting healthy shouldn’t be something that should cause more stress.  We can all get wrapped up in the latest health crazes, nutritional reports, fad diets, and insane workouts.  It is important to remember who you are and what your priorities are.  You don’t want to starve yourself into losing weight.  You don’t want to run yourself into the ground.  Just be healthy in your every day life and the life you want will follow!

15 thoughts on “Stressing Over Health

  1. Hey Angela- I think you got this one right on. You got to find what works for you which might not be what all the different books etc say, and definitely try not to stress over it! Keep up the good work on fitness/blog. I have definitely been able to use some of the info you provided in shaping my own diet/fitness plan.

  2. Ok…I’m going to be completely honest here & it’s because I <3 you.

    You need to figure out what works for you. You say that counting calories worked for you before, so do it again. If eating grain & dairy makes you feel sick, don't eat grain & dairy but still keep your calories under control. Then you need to stop reading/talking about it and do it.

    It's not fun and we all know it sucks but if we want to be those thinner girls from a few years ago again we need to stop making excuses and do what works.

    1. I know I can count on your for an honest opinion!

      So, I agree, I need to still “keep my calories under control” but I think what I’m trying to say is that I don’t want to micromanage them. By eating well and sticking to mostly-Paleo, I should fall into a good range. But 3000+ calorie days are unacceptable but so is adding extra calories just because I’m short for the day (done that) which is why I’ll still track (but I won’t stress over 1600 vs 1800 vs 2000 if you know what I mean).

      Now, on to the it sucks and its no fun – you are right and I’m going to have to remind myself of this when I want french fries or ice cream or other bad things (grains!). I’ve been lazy about this type of stuff and I just need to make better choices in general. And hopefully the “right” amount of calories for me (whatever it may be) will work itself out!

      Finally, I have to give you a little credit for this blog. I’ve been so good at tracking lately because you’ve been so good about it and posting it on your blog! You seriously have the most ridiculous amount of determination when you decide to do something. So thanks for the inspiration!

  3. I love my fitness pal! Being honest with yourself is so hard yet so necessary. I think the value of calories is more important than the number itself. But there’s so much beyond calories, so like you said, sticking to what seems to make you feel good (paleo) and not paying as much attention to the calories might be important. Finding what works is hard, but once you find it, it’s such an awesome feeling to know you’re taking care of your body. I’ve been playing around trying to find what works for me for years, and I finally feel like I know what I need to do now – and I love that feeling!

    That’s an interesting article about running and the thyroid for women. Very interesting… Saved it to read later.

    I’m excited to follow along and see how things go for you!

    1. I think the thyroid thing pertains to chronic running? Like people who run every single day for hours? She gives references in the article too 🙂

  4. Kudo’s for the top-down honest post, even though it was hard! When I get into the “eating poorly spiral” I often need to reality-check myself & say “Well, you know you’re not doing it “right””. It’s tough with all of the the pressures we face as well. It’s all a journey, hang in there!

  5. I agree with Lauren’s comment for sure…but I also wonder if you need to change how you look at food. Can you focus on meeting a goal like 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily instead of thinking about calories? This mindset has made a huge shift in everyone I’ve worked with including myself!

    1. Great idea! That is basically what I’m doing with Paleo. When I have a completely Paleo day, I usually have more than 6 servings of veggies alone and I fall right into a “good” calorie range (as I figure is good – not too high, not too low). So I guess that is really what I’m doing? I just don’t have to count anything! I guess I just don’t want to have to micromanage my diet anymore!

  6. You totally nailed it. You have to do what works for you. We all have days we overeat and that’s part of life, in my opinion. I refuse to give up pizza. Instead of giving up these foods, I think it’s a matter of choosing when to cheat – what time of day as well as days you work out versus days you don’t.

  7. I can relate to this! low fat, high fat, low protein, low calorie, etc etc. Who can follow along when each day the “experts” tell us to do something different. (remember when they said bacon and butter are bad? no paleo says its good. what gives)
    But I do agree that we just need to be healthy and happy. Take one day at a time and Im here if you need anything!

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